Articles | Volume 16, issue 11
Research article
15 Jun 2016
Research article |  | 15 Jun 2016

Regional emission metrics for short-lived climate forcers from multiple models

Borgar Aamaas, Terje K. Berntsen, Jan S. Fuglestvedt, Keith P. Shine, and Nicolas Bellouin

Abstract. For short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs), the impact of emissions depends on where and when the emissions take place. Comprehensive new calculations of various emission metrics for SLCFs are presented based on radiative forcing (RF) values calculated in four different (chemical-transport or coupled chemistry–climate) models. We distinguish between emissions during summer (May–October) and winter (November–April) for emissions in Europe and East Asia, as well as from the global shipping sector and global emissions. The species included in this study are aerosols and aerosol precursors (BC, OC, SO2, NH3), as well as ozone precursors (NOx, CO, VOCs), which also influence aerosols to a lesser degree. Emission metrics for global climate responses of these emissions, as well as for CH4, have been calculated using global warming potential (GWP) and global temperature change potential (GTP), based on dedicated RF simulations by four global models. The emission metrics include indirect cloud effects of aerosols and the semi-direct forcing for BC. In addition to the standard emission metrics for pulse and sustained emissions, we have also calculated a new emission metric designed for an emission profile consisting of a ramping period of 15 years followed by sustained emissions, which is more appropriate for a gradual implementation of mitigation policies.

For the aerosols, the emission metric values are larger in magnitude for emissions in Europe than East Asia and for summer than winter. A variation is also observed for the ozone precursors, with largest values for emissions in East Asia and winter for CO and in Europe and summer for VOCs. In general, the variations between the emission metrics derived from different models are larger than the variations between regions and seasons, but the regional and seasonal variations for the best estimate also hold for most of the models individually. Further, the estimated climate impact of an illustrative mitigation policy package is robust even when accounting for the fact that the magnitude of emission metrics for different species in a given model is correlated. For the ramping emission metrics, the values are generally larger than for pulse or sustained emissions, which holds for all SLCFs. For SLCFs mitigation policies, the dependency of metric values on the region and season of emission should be considered.

Final-revised paper